Friday, March 13, 2009

Improvement

If this was Wednesday, I'd call this WORDLE WEDNESDAY... but it's Friday, sooo oh well. Anyways, Wordle.net is an awesome website that lets you type in words and it puts them in a pretty image like this. It works great for a visual for brainstorming (I plan to use this with my students for brainstorming writing ideas! We could write words that make us think of Spring and then pick a font, layout and color scheme that reflect those feelings of Spring- and use it to jump start Spring poems! FUN!) Anyway, I did one about with all the names for Jesus Christ, but I can't get the thing to show up when I posted the code here... Ugh, oh well.
Speaking of Jesus, I really need to get better about really talking to Him. I guess this semester has been so UNstressful, I haven't been dealing with anything... and this is not a good thing! I know I need to be on my knees in good times and bad, I need to be thanking Him for giving me the feeling of peace, and it's wrong for me to come to Him just when things get sticky... I've been doing Him wrong, and I'm going to work to change that. I had not planned this blog to start off with confessional, but I guess it just sorta turned into that. But that's okay, because that's why I love blogging, I just start typing and it all comes out of me! :)

I'm struggling to type write now, because of my darling doggie is sitting on my right arm... she won't move. And I just fed her, so she's got these awful doggie-breath burps, it's hilarious. Anyways, I am sooo very happy right now, because it's Spring Break! Well, not for Hubby, but for me. :) I'm basically just laying around the house. I probably should be busy cleaning or getting ahead with school, but I've got time for that later. I want to spend this weekend just chilling out with Hubby & Puppy and relaxing (she just crawled up onto my lap, booting my computer off, and commendered my hands to pet her!!! I love this ridiculous dog!) Okay, anyways... this weekend should be great, just enjoying the break. Then on Sunday, I'm driving down to the beach to spend some time with my best friend, Whitney, and her family. I do this every Spring Break... I love it! I'm gonna be there until Wednesday so I can come home and spend Thursday and Friday Spring cleaning and getting ready for the week. Then that weekend will be my Daddy's birthday, so I'm sure we'll all be going out for his day, and I'll have to go shopping. I think I've got a nice week ahead! I just wish that warm, beautiful Spring weather would come back... it's all cool and misty and cloudy today :( and on top of that, I got a new bathing suit I'm dying to wear. I ordered it online from Victoria Secret... ballsy, I know! No dressing room, no nothing. I had no clue if it would fit, if it was cut too scantly, or if I'd even like it. This is what it looked like, but I ordered it in the Jade color.
Image and video hosting by TinyPicImage and video hosting by TinyPic
It came in the mail yesterday, and when I got home from school I tried it on, and BAM! It fit PERFECTLY. Like a glove. And it wasn't too revealing! The color in person is much more greener than I anticipated, and the package called it JUNGLEGREEN instead of JADE, so who knows, but I like it anyways, because it's a slimming color, but yet it's still bright and shows off my tan that I've been working so very hard on!
I think the reason I felt so comfortable in the bathing suit is related to the fact that we've been doing Power Yoga here lately and I'm loving it. It makes my arms and legs hurt, but I sweat so much, I feel accomplished at the end. I did 3 miles of cardio yesterday because that's all I had time for, but it was better than nothing. And I did 60 crunches, which I can definitely feel today. Tony, my personal trainer, has got me liking crunches now. I can't believe it, but I do. I like feeling sore. I like the fact that he taught me to do them in sets, so I can rest in between. I can do more now than ever because of that. What's frustrating is that I am not loosing any weight, in fact, I've gained some. That wouldn't be so bad if I could tell a difference in my jeans, but they are still tight... :( So I just don't get it. I'm excersising 3 times a week for about 2 hours, strength training (weights & yoga) with cardio, and thanks to my nutrition class, I KNOW that my diet is low fat, healthy, and balanced... What else can I do?! I mean, I don't hate my body or how I look, and I'm not trying to do this overnight, I just think a little shaping up would be nice, and I don't understand why I'm not seeing any results... FRUSTRATING. But, I'm not giving up yet. This brings me full circle back to the beginning of this blog. I need to pray about this! Why I'm frustrated, what more I should be doing, where to go from here... I know it will make things better. I mean, if I trust Him to guide me, why shouldn't I include Him in my weightloss efforts, right?
When I go back to school after break, I've got to register for classes for the fall... my LAST semester of classes... just 5 classes and an internship away from graduation!!! YAY! The thing is, my fall semester is gonna be INTENSE. I keep staring at my schedule for the fall and worrying! I've gotten spoiled by an easy load this spring, I'm gonna struggle, I feel it coming. But, that's one more thing I'm gonna turn over to Him... one more thing, I need to include Him in.

I love that I started this blog with the intention of talking about Spring Break, school, and the Wordle website, and it totally changed directions without me even thinking about it.

Monday, March 09, 2009

March has roared in like a lion! :) And I love it!

So let me begin by saying that March is my favorite month. And my birthday, being during the first week of the month, is sort of a way to kick-start my favorite time of year. Chilly mornings, and warm afternoon, the sudden onset of "greenness" everywhere, daffodils blooming on the side of the road, making Spring Break plans, shopping for an Easter dress, dogwoods, longer days, driving with my windows down... the new life that Spring gives me is unreal! Well, this year, Mother Nature had a to have one last winter laugh; so she dumps 10 inches of snow on us! Yes, here... in Carolina! Now granted, this snow storm came up from Georgia (those are the big ones, the ones that come down across Tennesee & the mountains never make more than a little fuss...) so everyone across the area saw some snow, ranging from 2 to 15 inches. Locally, my town got more than many other places around them. At school, they just got a couple, while 45 minutes away, I got 10. It was amazing! It was so nice having 2 snow days with the hubby, cuddled up in front of the fire with a bowl of snow cream! We played in it allll Monday. So, March 2, Mother Nature gave us a blizzard, and today, just ONE WEEK later, we are having clear, sunny 80 degree weather. NOT LYING! The snow lasted til about Thursday (my birthday!) but didn't make it through that 50 & 60 degree sun we had, so by this weekend, it was green, sunny, and warm! How amazing is it that I started off my birthday week in snow boots and ended it in shorts & flipflops?! I told you I LOOOVE March! <3
Monday, March 2, our street!
our weather one week later!
My birthday was quite a success. Hubby bought me 2 white rocking chairs for my porch, wear I'm currently sitting & blogging!! My parents came & brought me a homemade cake (as is tradition) on Wednesday & had dinner with us here at our house, then on Thursday & Friday, Hubby pampered me each day and we went out each night to a couple nicer bars with friends from work to celebrate. Saturday night we went out with some of our closest friends to a Joe's (local country bar... kind of place where beer is a dollar and B list country stars come and play!) and I got a little silly and had a fantastic time, but not so much fun I wasn't able to go to church in the morning. For Sunday lunch, we went to a nice restaurant with mine & Hubby's family to celebrate the end of my weekend and it was GREAT. I even had a new dress to wear. I also, on a random side note, passed a kidney stone on Sunday afternoon. I went to the restroom at the restaurant and there it was! I had been feeling some pain for the past week or so, but rarely do I mention it, because after having more than a dozen of them, what's the point of making anyone worry... Anyways, I was thrilled that I passed it (I'm guessing 3 nights of moderate drinking made my kidneys flush it out!) and Sunday afternoon was a glorious day, so I was feeling wonderful. We came home and took a nap together, so the day was becoming even more perfect. Then Hubby's cousin (and one of his best friends at that) called and said they had an extra ticket to see a bluegrass group play in Charlotte called "Leahy" and asked us to come, so that evening, we went with a small group of family & friends to see them, and WOW! They were sooooooooo great! We even visited one of my FAVORITE Irish pubs for drinks beforehand. We came home, relaxed a little, and went to bed. Seriously, this has been the PERFECT weekend.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic <-- Me and my cake from Cold Stone on Sunday. <3

Now it's Monday & I am at home trying catch up on all the things I didn't get to over the weekend... writing, studying for my geology quiz, writing my mini-paper for yoga (I get course credit for the class, so we have to do a few little things to get a grade in the class, but it's mostly just participation...) and of course, I need to be catching up laundry. I've got a load in the dryer now, and I've had some lunch so there is really no excuse for me to get to work; but OH-MY-GOSH this weather is such a distraction. I want to garden right now so bad it's killing me! So, when I have to write a paper and the weather is like this, I do it outside! And in the form of a blog. When I write my paper in the form of a blog entry, I tend to do a better job getting it out, and I can reformat it and edit it to make it so I can just turn it in, instead of spending all day staring at a blank Word document. I think this is a teaching strategy I'm gonna try to use one day in the classroom. Writer's block? Flesh it out in a blog. I'll get back to you someday when I know if it works as well for my students as it does for me.
So my TO DO list for today is:
- blog. (Check, or in the process of checking)
- laundry (started)
- write a one (little) page summary on three types of yoga
- review & study for my geology test
- get ready for the week ahead.

Not a bad list, if I can just get focused. This semester has been sooo easy, and would have been even more easy if I had been able to stay focused. I swear, all this semester I've been as destractable as a bumble bee and completely ADHD.

Well, anyways, I wanted to flesh out they paper for yoga here. Partly because I'm tired of staring at my computer wondering when the words will jump on to the page, and partly because I LOVE yoga and want to share my knowledge. Win win situation. So here goes.

Yoga is an ancient form of spiritual meditation, relaxation, and exercise that seeks to unite the mind, body, and spirit. In eastern cultures and religions, yoga is practiced as frequently to help with focus, balance, and mental clarity . In the western world, it has become a popular and relaxing way to build flexibility and muscular strength and flexability as a part of a wholistic work out.

Hatha and Vinyasa/Flow yoga are two main types of yoga that are often practiced in gyms and yoga studios. Hatha and Vinyasa yoga are designed to help you move from pose to pose calmly and steadly, while still keeping you challenged, which is the style most people will encounter in yoga classes. Hatha is very gentle and covers a lot of basic poses, and is very good for beginners. Vinyasa is a little more vigorous and focuses more on syncronizing your breath with the movements of your body. Vinyasa also includes a series of poses called Sun Salutations that are designed to warm up the body for deeper stretches and poses as the work out progresses.

Another style of yoga is called Ashtanga, or Power Yoga. This style of yoga is different as it focuses on moving quickly through a series of sequenced poses that are designed to be more physically challenging and provide more of a workout. This style of yoga is credited with bringing yoga into western gyms and fitness clubs as it helped people in the western world view yoga as more than stretching and meditiation, giving them an opportunity to use it as a way to become more physically it.

Bikram, also known as hot yoga, can also be found in many yoga studios. It is named for Bikram Choudhury, and is practiced in a very warm room that is heated to 95-100 degrees in order to get the body to sweat profusously so that the body can be purified as it releases toxins. The warmth of the body also helps improve flexibility so that you can get into deeper poses.
_______________________________________________

Okay, I hope that this blog post taught you a couple of things! 1. Carolina weather is wonderfully unpredictable! 2. I had a great birthday & I'm so excited that it is MARCH! 3. I love yoga! 4. I love writing!

Happy Monday. XOXO